Artist ninamdot, also known as Nina Wells, from Madisonville, has recently completed King Me Indefinite, now visible in Avondale at 3498 Burnet Avenue.
ninamdot works to uplift black males by working in various community hubs like barbershops to photograph individuals in a kingly manner. King Me Indefinite is a part of an ongoing series. The subjects are regally posed and each wears a crown on their head.
“The King Me photo series is art specifically focused on love & restoration of the black male,” ninamdot said. “King Me Indefinite is purposed to encourage men to develop and maintain a high level of self-esteem.”
For this extension of the project, ninamdot worked in the Avondale neighborhood with Youth Apprentice Kiara Berry to create new images of community residents and permanently install these photographs in a street gallery.
“King Me Indefinite was deliberately installed in a high traffic, predominantly African American residential area.” said ninamdot. “The King Me mantra, ‘What you see is what you become,’ is a reminder that a man is the sum of his surroundings; and these surroundings are the influence behind who ultimately becomes.”
2020 marked the season of New Voices for ArtWorks, where we launched a fresh program called Jump Start: Fueling Emerging Artists. Seven artists were selected by a jury to receive a grant, studio space, and assistance from ArtWorks Youth Apprentices to create place-based or community based public art projects.
“Nina’s installation is an amazing and accessible piece of public art in Avondale,” said Amy Scarpello, ArtWorks’ director of Artist Impact. “We’re honored to support Nina in broadcasting this powerful, uplifting message for Black boys and men in this community.”
King Me Indefinite is a semi-permanent installation.
ArtWorks is an award-winning Greater Cincinnati nonprofit that transforms people and places through investments in creativity. The organization creates jobs for youth, ages 14-21 with the majority from underserved households, providing competitive 21st-century career-readiness skills through mentorship by professional artists. Since 1996, ArtWorks has employed more than 3,750 youth and 3,300 creative professionals, and the organization has completed more than 12,500 public and private art projects that include 200 permanent outdoor murals, contributing to the region’s global reputation as an arts destination.